Assignment: Recent Theories

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Assignment: Recent Theories

Assignment: Recent Theories


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According to Niles and Harris-Bowlsbey (2012), “careers are person-specific and created by choices we make throughout our lives. Careers emerge from the constant interplay between the person and the environment”. The authors also state that “careers are personal and encompass the total constellation of life roles that we play. Thus, managing our careers effectively also involves integrating roles effectively”. Considering this information, review the case study of Ronald in the Niles and Harris-Bowlsbey (2012) text. After reading the case study, select one of the recent theories from Chapter 3 and write a response indicating how you would apply the theory to describe the career development of Ronald. What interventions might work in this case? Post should be at least 300 words. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings by Day 7.

Ronald, a 20-year-old African American male, presents for career counseling during the second semester of his sophomore year in college. In his initial appointment he states that he has not given much serious consideration to “life after college” and that he feels “confused” about his career goals. As the starting quarterback for the university’s football team, Ronald had always thought he would play professional football. However, an injury and lackluster performance in the past season have left him feeling less confident about his ability to achieve this goal. He reports feeling “overwhelmed” and “doubtful” that he will be able to identify a suitable occupational alternative to professional football.

Ronald has a high grade-point average (3.6 out of 4.0) and has taken a wide variety of courses without declaring a college major. He is very personable and reports interests in math, literature, and music (he has played the piano since elementary school). He is also very involved in community service and is a mentor for two middle school students. From his comments, it is clear that Ronald has high expectations for himself. He now feels very anxious because he is not sure what he wants to do. Both of Ronald’s parents are educators. His mother is employed as a high school math teacher, and his father is employed as a high school principal.


Theories are developed to address important questions that people ask about their career situations. The theories discussed in the previous chapter rose to prominence because they provided effective responses to questions regarding how worker traits can be matched to work requirements (e.g., person-environment theories) and how workers can develop their careers effectively across the life span (e.g., developmental theories). A number of career theories have emerged since the theories discussed in the previous chapter were initially developed. In part, these recent theories tend to be more explicitly attuned to diverse populations and to the complexity involved in career decision making, especially as the latter relates to cognitive processes concern- ing career choice. As such, the theories we discuss in this chapter may be very relevant for a client such as Ronald.

Specifically, social cognitive career theory developed by Lent, Brown, and Hackett (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1996, 2002); the cognitive information process- ing theory developed by Peterson, Sampson, Reardon, and Lenz (1996), Peterson, Sampson, Lenz, and Reardon (2002), and Sampson, Reardon, Peterson, and Lenz (2004); the career construction model developed by Savickas (2005, 2009); the chaos theory of careers developed by Pryor and Bright (2011); and the integrative life- planning model developed by Hansen (1997) are each excellent examples of theories that have evolved to address cognitive and mean-making processes that people use to manage their careers effectively within a global and mobile society. Theories seek- ing to help workers manage multiple job changes across their work lives without losing their sense of self and social identity are theories described as “postmodern.” Postmodern approaches to career development interventions address the client’s “subjective” experiences of career development (Cochran, 1997; Young, Valach, & Collin, 1996). Approaches emphasizing the subjective career highlight the ways in which meaning is made out of life experiences and then translated into a career choice (Carlsen, 1988; Cochran, 1990, 1997; Savickas, 1995).

(Niles 95)

Niles, Spencer G. Career Development Interventions in the 21st Century, 4th Edition. Pearson, 20120228. VitalBook file.

The citation provided is a guideline. Please check each citation for accuracy before use.

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